Say it ain’t so! On January 22, 2019 Disney announced a Zootopia Land would be coming to Shanghai Disneyland. Immediately, every Disneyphile thought, why not Walt Disney World? In recent years we’ve seen Disney test new attractions and ride technologies in other parks before bringing them to Walt Disney World. For example, the new Ratatouille attraction coming to Epcot is from Disneyland Paris, and Magic Kingdom’s Tron Coaster is from Shanghai Disneyland. When could we see the Zootopia Land at Walt Disney World? Let’s review all the clues with Judy Hopps.
Why Shanghai Disneyland First?
As Chief Bogo would say, “first we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room.” The movie was a huge success in the Chinese market (~25% of the global revenue). One of the unspoken marks that Disney uses to decide on whether to build a new land or large attraction for an Intellectual Property (IP) is the one billion mark. If a Disney movie makes over $1 billion in the global box office, the IP usually gets a fast-tracked to either a new land or at least a high profile ride, like Frozen Ever After.
Additionally, Disney had planned for an expansion within the first 5 years of the opening of Shanghai Disneyland. Choosing to bring a Zootopia Land to Shanghai Disney is a no brainer for Disney.
When Would It Come to Walt Disney World?
The big question isn’t if but when would we see a Zootopia Land at Walt Disney World? The answer, probably about 5 years. Nate, do you have a crystal ball? How do you know that? Let’s walk through everything we know. The first thing to know is that Disney already has plans for a follow up movie to Zootopia in the works, it’s just a matter of time when they decide to announce the release date for the movie.
Secondly, and biggest thing to note is Walt Disney World is gearing up for the 50th anniversary, both for new attractions to open in time for celebration, as well as announcing new attractions coming in the “future”. According to Jim Hill, of Jim Hill Media, Walt Disney World is planning on making multiple announcements regarding park expansions and new attractions during the celebration. The first rumored announcement would be further expansion for the Animal Kingdom. A perfect spot to bring a kid-friendly Zootopia Land.
Lastly, we know that Bob Chapek’s strategy around park expansion centers on the idea of creating lands and attractions that could be used on a global scale. For example, how Star Wars Galaxy Edge is going to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as a mini version being added to Disneyland Paris.
Where Would Zootopia Land Go?
We know it would be more than likely than Animal Kingdom, but where in the park? We previously discussed the target location in our Conservation Station article. It’s rumored the land would replace the conversation area, as there’s plenty of room for further expansion especially if Disney moves the animal “backstage” areas to create more space.
What Would a Zootopia Land Include?
The new land would be the “downtown” area in Zootopia where you would see many of the famous towers from the movie in the distance. Disney refers to this as forced perspective. Think of the Beast’s castle in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. The land would be centered around an e-ticket (major, like Everest) type of attraction that guests would enter through the Zootopia police station.
Entering the police station you’ll say “hi” to Clawhauser before boarding a bus to head out on an adventure with Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde. According to Jim Hill, the technology rumored to used in the attraction is screened based, similar to the Fast and Furious attraction at Universal Studios. We’re making this assumption based on the internal name for the attraction being the Fast and Furriest. So punny!
Outside the major attraction, rumor is we could see a dedicated “ear” store within the Zootopia Land. Just think of all the different type of “ears” they’ll be able to create! Additionally, there will be a restaurant. What is still unknown is if the restaurant would be a quick-serve style meal or sit down.
More and more information will continue to surface around a Zootopia Land coming to the Animal Kingdom, just don’t expect any type of announcement until the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. Things could always changed based on the success of the second movie. Until then, watch out for Officer Hopps she’s still trying to write 100 tickets before noon!